Northwest Trek in Tacoma is part zoo and part Wildlife Park. The park is situated among towering Douglas fir trees in 725-acres 35 miles southeast of Tacoma off State Highway 161 near Eatonville.
Northwest Trek, which is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, is dedicated to conservation, education and recreation by displaying, interpreting and researching native Northwest wildlife and their natural habitats.
The park offers visitors a 50-minute narrated tram tour along a five-mile loop of its 435-acre free-roaming area featuring meadows, lush forests, and thick woodland trails. From the moment visitors hop on the tram, it’s like a game of Where’s Waldo. The immersive tour takes visitors just feet away from herds of American bison and Roosevelt elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, deer, caribou and moose and one moose, and spotting them is half the fun. A knowledgeable naturalist guides you through the forest and offers interesting facts and information on the different free-roaming animals.
All the free-roaming animals are herbivores and part of the bovine family. All the animals are native to the Northwest and can be found in in the wild in Washington, except the bison, which were overhunted in the 1800s and now only exist as managed herds. Northwest Trek is home to more than 200 animals representing 43 species.
Visitors can also walk forested trails and paved paths through the forest to view golden eagles, snowy owls, and large predators like grizzly bears, wolves, cougars, black bears, foxes, coyotes, lynx, and bobcats, all in natural, up-close enclosed exhibits. In the smaller, wetland areas, you’ll see beavers, fishers, and wolverines.